Glad not about to give up position

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After tackling one of Clorox Co.'s biggest marketing challenges, Beth Springer finds herself with a seemingly bigger one-running a Glad business in partnership with Clorox rival Procter & Gamble Co.

Ms. Springer, formerly a marketer in the laundry and cleaning business that competes with P&G, led the marketing of Clorox's Glad business after it arrived in 1998 as part of the acquisition of First Brands.

Ms. Springer helped stem a long decline in Glad's shares in 2000 by reviving the "Don't get mad, get Glad" tagline via Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, San Francisco. Then last year, Glad got access to P&G's food wrap and other technology in a deal in which P&G also contributed about a dozen employees and gets 10% of the Glad business.

Ms. Springer, 38, who had become VP-general manager of the Glad business in October, two months before the P&G deal, was a natural choice to head the business.

She's a Food Network fan and Cajun-inspired cook who, along with her husband, Paul, creates plenty of leftovers. "I think the main reason I ever got this job," she says, "is I'm an enormous user of bags and containers."

Of course, there were other reasons. After earning a Harvard University MBA, Ms. Springer began consulting in the 1980s with Braxton Associates. Consulting piqued her interest in package-goods marketing, and she joined Clorox in 1990.

She worked her way up Clorox's household products business, helping move Clorox's cleaners into category leadership past P&G. As with cleaners, she believed more ad spending would help Glad.

"We have more than doubled our advertising investment on Glad," Ms. Springer says, adding that she expects to be the category's leader "for quite some time."

The $60 million launch next August of Glad Press `n Seal wrap, a P&G-developed product, will help there.

She notes the employees are bonding nicely, too. "I think P&G and Clorox have so much in common," she says of the companies, once joined before a 1970s antitrust settlement. At a meeting, "one of the senior P&G scientists said, `You know, I think we were twins separated at birth.' "

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